Normally, you might not plan out ways to keep yourself busy during a layover, but I’m a firm believer in having some kind of plan in place whenever I have time to kill away from home. Besides the popular layover activity of getting your drink on, there are lots of other ways to keep yourself busy while you wait for your next flight. If you don’t typically get a lot of free time to yourself, it’s vital to make the most of your layover while traveling. So, the next time you find yourself with a few hours to kill at the airport, pull up this handy guide and get busy!
1. Have a Snack
One of the best ways to keep yourself busy during a layover is to have a healthy snack. It’s no fun traveling when you’re hangry (angry+hungry) and traveling is often a long, tiring ordeal and you can probably use some something to eat. Yeah, you can eat something on the plane, but there’s no guarantee that it’s going to be very tasty and although many airports charge a lot for food, it’s probably cheaper than the food on the plane. If you have a lot of time, go to a sit-down restaurant and relax.
Airports can appear to be a painfully boring place to be stuck in between flights, but there are actually a lot of things around that can help pass the time. Most airports have various types of shops for gifts, reading material and snacks that you can spend some time in. Even if you’re not looking to spend $30 for a neck pillow, you can still window shop. If you’re not in the mood for shopping, take a look around. Many airports have displays of art and the city’s history to look at and you can also learn something while you’re at it.
3. Catch up on Emails or Work
Reading and answering emails and keeping up on work is one of the best things to do during a layover to keep yourself busy. You’re making good use of your time and it’s sure to make the time fly while you’re waiting for the next flight. If you plan on working on your computer, tablet or making calls on your phone, pack your charger or an extra battery so you’re not stuck without any power. Of course, you can always browse AWS, Insta or Pinterest if you want also, it doesn’t always have to be about work!
4. Get out
If you have the time and you’re able to leave the airport for awhile, why not get out and see the city? If you’re able to leave the airport during your layover and you don’t have a ton of luggage to lug around, take a walk outside or go see some sights. Keep in mind that you’ll have to go through security again so if you don’t have more than a few hours to spare, it might be best to just take a walk inside the airport instead. If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll also have to go through customs and security again and be mindful of the visa requirements.
I’m a little paranoid about sleeping in airports when I’m alone because I’m afraid of missing my flight, but if you’re pretty confident in your alarm or you’re traveling with someone, use this time to take a nap. You’ll wake up feeling rested and you’ll be refreshed when you arrive at your destination. If you don’t want to sleep, you might want to just relax and get a massage if the airport happens to have one. What better way to calm nerves before flying than getting a nice massage?
6. People Watch
One of the fun and free things to do when you’re stuck at the airport is to people watch. There are people from all parts of the world in airports and one of my favorite things to do is to see who has the best travel outfits on or who has the chicest luggage. If you have a hard time figuring out exactly what to wear on the plane or how to wear your hair or makeup, people watching can give you tons of ideas! If you’re not into people watching, planes are cool to watch, too.
Keep yourself busy at the airport by reading. Whether you like magazines or books, you can buy some selections at their airport, bring your own along or pack your e-reader so you have lots of options at your fingertips. You can travel to another time, immerse yourself in a mystery or get outfit or makeup ideas for the coming season while you wait.
8. Play Games
Whether you prefer a crossword puzzle, cards or a game on your phone, all of these things will keep you busy and entertained while you wait for your flight. Bringing a game is also a good way to meet people if you need a partner to play. If you’re not the game-playing type, layovers are also a good time to clean out and organize your purse or wallet or clean up your contacts list or your FB profile page.
9. Have Some Quiet Time
Another one of the excellent things to do during a layover is to have some quiet time to yourself. Whether you choose to just sit, journal or meditate, it’s a great way to make good use of extra time and check in on how you’re feeling. Maybe you’re traveling because of a family emergency or perhaps it’s a vacation. Either time is good to reflect and check in with yourself. If you can find a quiet spot and you’re not embarrassed, you can always stretch, do some yoga poses or even do some exercises!
Layovers can be a real drag, but there are lots of ways to make the most of your time at the airport. If you have a really long layover coming up, it might be a good idea to research the airport ahead of time so you’ll know what you’ll have available to you and where things are. Now it’s your turn, please comment and tell me how you keep yourself busy during a layover.